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Original editions

Blast off with Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy and Mr. Spock as they hurtle through space with the crew of the starship Enterprise. Plunge through an eerie pocket of spatial unreality as they risk death by radiation to save the endangered people of Epsilon Delta 4. See the marvels of Enowil, the mad gnomic master of an insane planet. Beware of treachery from the Klingons, if you would succeed in your mission.

Later editions

On an urgent mission of mercy to a dying colony, the USS Enterprise is diverted from its course by Enowil, an unpredictable exile in charge of a world gone mad. With a Klingon and a Romulan warship already under his control, Enowil puts Kirk and his crew through an agonizing, dangerous test of wits while the colonists of Epsilon Delta 4 await evacuation—or certain death…
"Captain's log, stardate 6191.8"
"I am faced with one of the most difficult decisions of my career. Three days ago, the Enterprise was ordered to proceed at maximum warp to Epsilon Delta 4, where 700 colonists are slowly dying of radiation poisoning. Our journey there was interrupted when Enowil, an eccentric being of unbelievable power, seized control of the ship, as well as one Klingon and one Romulan star cruiser. Offering anything in his power to give as a reward, he has asked all of us for help in solving what he refers to as a "private matter". I've seen evidence of his power: it's incredible. If I decline, if I take the ship and leave, both the Romulans and the Klingons have a chance to obtain what could be an unstoppable weapon… and change the galactic balance of power. But if I stay, I am surely condemning the 700 colonists on Epsilon Delta 4 to a slow and painful death…"


Log entries

Captain's log, stardate 6188.4
We are preparing to leave orbit around Babel as soon as we pick up a pair of passengers: Kostas Spyroukis, the renowned planetary explorer who is personally responsible for locating more than thirty colonizable worlds; and his daughter Metika. The Enterprise has been assigned to transport them both back to their home on the colony planet Epsilon Delta 4 after their stay here and their unsuccessful attempt to have their world's status changed from colony to full member of the Federation. This is one assignment I am eagerly awaiting. Ever since I was a boy I enjoyed reading about Spyroukis's daring exploits—and the chance to finally meet him has made me feel like a cadet again.
Captain's log. stardate 6189.0
I have sent through a Priority-1 call to Star Fleet Command, outlining the situation on colony world Epsilon Delta 4 as nearly as we can estimate it Star Fleet acknowledges receipt of our hypotheses, and promises to get their best scientific teams to work on the problem at once. They will apprise me of the situation the instant they have any results.
Meanwhile, the Enterprise continues on its original course to Epsilon Delta 4. I have taken the liberty of increasing our speed to Warp Factor 4; in the event Star Fleet confirms our worst fears, we will want to reach the colony in a hurry to begin the evacuation. My chief engineer is currently working on contingency plans to house the evacuees aboard the ship if and when that becomes necessary. Metika Spyroukis has not left her father's side since he was stricken. I believe I'll have the hardest task of all—telling her that Epsilon Delta 4 may have to be abandoned.
Captain's log, stardate 6189.5
Pursuant to orders, the Enterprise was on its way to evacuate the Epsilon Delta 4 colony. We have radioed ahead and explained the situation to the local officials, who received the news with understandable anger, dismay and confusion; however, when Metika Spyroukis explained farther—including a detailed account of her father's death—they conceded the need for action and promised their utmost cooperation. Evacuation work at their end will begin immediately, so that they will hopefully be ready for us by the time we arrive.
Meanwhile, I have assigned Lieutenant Placer the job of deciding which crewmembers will remain behind on the planet to make more room aboard ship for the evacuees; Lieutenant Commander Scott has the task of readying the ship to carry nearly double its normal complement of people. Knowing the competence of both officers, I'm positive the Enterprise will be ready by the time it reaches Epsilon Delta 4.
Captain's log, stardate 6191.7. First Officer Spock reporting
It has now been two days since Captain Kirk ordered the ship through the region of nebulosity rather than detouring around the navigational hazard as is standard procedure. Though he and I have been standing alternating six-hour watches, the interval has been refreshingly free of troublesome incidents. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Enterprise will reach Epsilon Delta 4 in two more days. Chief Engineer Scott informs me that all systems will be properly functioning for the emergency evacuation by that time. In all, I can report that conditions aboard ship are exactly what they should be under the given circumstances.
Captain's log, stardate 6191.9
The Organian calling himself Enowil has granted me an hour to confer with my officers on whether we should help him solve his problem or whether we should continue on with our original mission to evacuate the Epsilon Delta 4 colony. Although he claimed it hurt his feelings to be suspected, I did make Enowil promise not to eavesdrop on the meeting—and I believe him to be a being of his word.
I've called together my major officers: Commander Spock, Lieutenant Commander Scott, and Dr. McCoy. Also, though she will have no part In the actual decision, I have allowed Metika Spyroukis to attend the meeting. The decision made there will, after all, affect both her and her planet.



Christine ChapelPavel ChekovEnowilJames T. KirkKolvorLeamingLeonard McCoyRamona PlacerActius ProbicolRodriguesMontgomery ScottSolari (crewman)SpockKostas SpyroukisMetika SpyroukisHikaru SuluSydney (Lieutenant)Ti-ChenNyota Uhura

Starships and vehicles

IKS Destructor (Klingon warship) • USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • ChR Talon (D7-class star cruiser)


DelestraOreopolis (Epsilon Delta IV, Epsilon Delta star system) • PartheniaSpyroukis

Races and cultures

Referenced only

States and organizations

Navigational Hazard Classification AuthorityStarfleetUnited Federation of Planets

Ranks and titles

captaincommandercrewmanlieutenantlieutenant commander

Other references

argon (element)bloodworm stewbootclothingcorbadiumdayeldarineFimaldian mushroommushroomnapathic saltplanetradiationranksaltsoccerspacestarstar systemStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)stewtimetitleuniformuniversewarp speedwarshipweaponzeton radiation



The ChR Talon.

  • The Romulan ship Talon bears the same name as the female Romulan Commander's ship from TOS episode: "The Enterprise Incident", as it was referred to in the Rihannsu book series and TOS novel: Vulcan's Heart, and thus is considered the same ship for the purposes of this wiki.
  • The 1984 edition cover art depicts Chekov wearing lieutenant's stripes, which would seem to place this story after most TOS stories, where he was an ensign. However, the text of the book refers to him as an ensign.
  • The comedic "were-koala" intro was written by David Gerrold, showing the camaraderie of Star Trek authors of the era.
  • Reprinted many times, a new cover by Enric Torres-Prat was used in the 1984 version. Also in 1984, an overseas reprinting by Corgi Books bore a new cover by Chris Moore. In 1994, Titan Books made an overseas reprinting with a cover by Alister Pearson as part of the Star Trek Adventures series. Bantam's last print run of the book came in 1998 with a new cover by Kazuhiko Sano.
  • Translations of this book into German language editions were first published by Pabel's Terra Astra series, as Das Private Universum in 1980 (with a cover by Oliviero Berni); and then by Goldmann's Raumschiff Enterprise series, as Gefangene des Wahnsinns, in 1990. A Hebrew translation, מסע לעולם מטורף was published by Zmora Bitan Modan in 1982.
  • As was characteristic of the time periods of the various printings, the fanciful cover artwork didn't always match events of the story. The original printing features the Enterprise firing beams of some sort from the lower deck towards an unspecified wreck in space. The Corgi Books reprint shows the movie-era Enterprise, despite picturing a younger Kirk and Spock. At the time, the films were popular and artists frequently used the movie version of the ship on stories taking place during the five-year mission, before the ship was modified for refit. The Bantam novels were part of an agreement between the publisher and the owners of the television franchise of Star Trek, meaning none of their materials were part of the movie era.




Published Order
Previous novel:
The Starless World
TOS unnumbered novels Next novel:
World Without End
Previous novel:
Mudd's Angels
Star Trek Adventures Next novel:
Planet of Judgment
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
The Starless World
Pocket Books Timeline Next adventure:
World Without End
Previous adventure:
The Starless World
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
World Without End
Publication history
January 1979
First published by Bantam Books. (ISBN 978-0-553-12618-1)
August 1984
First printed in the United Kingdom by Corgi Books. (ISBN 978-0-552-12431-7)
December 1984
Third printing by Bantam, cover by Enric Torres-Prat. (ISBN 978-0-553-24676-6)
June 1994
Reissued in Great Britain as Star Trek Adventures #6 by Titan Books, cover by Alister Pearson. (ISBN 9781852865306)
February 1998
Fifth printing by Bantam Spectra, cover by Kazuhiko Sano. (ISBN 978-0-553-24676-6)
24 June 1980
German: As Das private Universum (The Private Universe), #328 in Terra series, translated by Leni Sobez, cover by Oliviero Berni. (Erich Pabel)
Hebrew: As מסע לעולם מטורף (Journey into a Crazy World), translated by David Karasik. (Zmora Bitan Modan)
June 1988
Italian: As Destinazione Madworld, translated by translated by Annarita Guarnieri, cover by Marilena Maiocco. (Garden Editoriale)
German: As Gefangene des Wahnsinns (Prisoners of Madness), Raumschiff Enterprise #20, translated by Hermann Martireiter. (Goldmann)

External links